money yields impressive grant results
Spectacular results are being realized from a four-year-old,
innovative “seed money” project to encourage faculty
members to develop their ideas to the point where external agencies
can be solicited to fund further research.
The Faculty Research Seed Money Plan combines dollars from the
University, the UND Foundation, and the city of Grand Forks. So
far, 83 seed money grants totaling $2 million have been awarded
to faculty. The city contributed $500,000, with the balance coming
from UND and the Foundation.
Thus far, external grants directly attributed to the seed money
plan have generated $6.6 million in grant awards.
Not all seed money recipients have had sufficient time to submit
proposals to external agencies. “Once an idea matures and
a proposal is submitted to an external agency, the success rate
has been astounding,” said Peter Alfonso, vice president
As of May 31, faculty receiving seed money grants had submitted
40 proposals to external agencies seeking $24.4 million, achieving
success on 15 of them. That’s a success ratio of 37.5 percent.
Looked at another way, seed money grants totaling $688,000 were
made to the investigators who submitted the proposals. That resulted
in the $6.6 million in new grants, making the return on investment
an impressive a 9.6 to 1.
Another 29 proposals seeking $7.5 million are currently being
considered by external funding sources, and more are in the pipeline.
Thus it’s not surprising, Alfonso says, that UND has received
national attention for its partnership approach to encouraging
faculty research. The involvement of the city – which sees
the economic connection between research and the community –
is particularly appreciated, he said.